Book 19 in the In Death series, published August 2003.
Summer 2059. A man wearing a cape and a top hat approaches a prostitute on a dark New York City street. Minutes later, the woman is dead. Left at the scene is a letter addressed to Lieutenant Eve Dallas, inviting her to play his game and unveil his identity. He signs it “Jack”.
Now Eve is in pursuit of a murderer who knows as much about the history of serial killers as she does. He has studied the most notorious and the most vicious slayings in modern time. But he also wants to make his own mark. He has chosen his victim: Eve Dallas. And all Eve knows is that he plans to mimic the most infamous murderers of all – starting with Jack the Ripper …
Some one is imitating famous murderers, and dares Eve to find him. She has had two big cases in the previous month, with lots of media attention, and he wants to for himself. But Eve doesn’t want to play, so she tells the media, and Nadine, nothing. She doesn’t want a panic in her city. And as the murders she has to investigate are not the same, no one is making the connection yet.
She has a few high profile suspects, because of the paper the notes to her are written on. And that means that she has to tread carefully, and be very sure of her case before she can act. But still, it is raining complaints on her commander’s desk. Luckily, he is standing right behind her, and agrees with her investigation.
The first one murdered was a Licensed Companion, the second one a very beloved elder single woman with grown children. And the third, she got away! And if she survives, she just might give Eve the proof she needs. She already knows who the killer is, knows it in her gut, now she just has to find the proof to get a search warrant.
In the mean while, Peabody is busy studying for the upcoming Detective exam, and McNab is helping her. Eve gets a dream, a flashback, of her mother. Secretly and very deep down she has always held the little hope that her mother did love her, and her father just took her away. But now she knows the truth: her mother was a whore and a junkie, and really hated her. She doesn’t know how to cope with that and doesn’t want to bother Roarke, as he is still grieving for his own mother.
Eve uses her best friend Mavis to get an interview with the wife of one of her suspects, as she wouldn’t get through otherwise. And that was a fun piece as usual.
It was a really great story. I know I have read this book before, but I couldn’t remember who the killer was. So I was a little surprised at the end, as I thought it was one of the other suspects. Well, at least Peabody picked a wrong one too.
I just love the humor in those books, or rather the sarcasm. Eve is getting better at interaction on a friends level, though she is still baffled by “normal” things. I loved the part where Roarke thought he could handle a barbeque … a hypermodern and advanced and thinking for itself barbeque … they ate pizza after all.
Summerset is back from his vacation, and all is well in the end.